It's 1976. Despite fierce international controversy over whether in vitro fertilization (IVF) should ever be performed in humans, doctors around the world race to be first to produce a baby through this procedure.
Dr. Colin Sanford, a brilliant, ambitious obstetrician in the Pacific Northwest city of Emerald, has a plan. He recruits Dr. Giselle Hearn, an experienced laboratory geneticist-embryologist at the university who's frustrated by the ultraconservative policies of her department chairman. Drs. Sanford and Hearn, working secretly, set out to put their names in history books. Unfortunately, a secret that big is hard to keep, and Alma Wanego, Dr. Hearn's lab supervisor, catches on and demands a blackmail payment. Several months later, Dr. Sanford's patient, Joyce Kennett, gives birth to a healthy boy, and Sanford prepares to make an announcement at a press conference. But before that happens, Joyce Kennett's marginally-schizophrenic husband kills Dr. Hearn and then himself.
Police detective Bernie Baumgartner's investigation is hampered by pressure from influential people at the university who want to control sensationalism that might harm the institution. The chief of police chalks it up to the work of a mentally unstable man who may have forgotten to take his medication and considers the case closed. But dogged, tenacious Baumgartner suspects that Sanford and Hearn were in fact doing IVF, that they succeeded with the Kennetts, and that murder, suicide, and other crimes were the fallout.
A double cat-and-mouse game develops between doctor and detective, and as stakes escalate, truth becomes an increasingly evasive commodity.
About the Author
Larry Karp grew up in Paterson, NJ and New York City. He practiced perinatal medicine (high-risk pregnancy care) and wrote general nonfiction books and articles for 25 years, then, in 1995, he left medical work to begin a second career, writing mystery novels. The backgrounds and settings of Larry's mysteries reflect many of his interests, including musical antiques, medical-ethical issues, and ragtime music.
Traber Burns worked for thirty-five years in regional theater, including the New York, Oregon, and Alabama Shakespeare festivals. He also spent five years in Los Angeles appearing in many television productions and commercials, including Lost, Close to Home, Without a Trace, Boston Legal, Grey's Anatomy, Cold Case, Gilmore Girls, and others.
Sean Runnette, a multiple AudioFile Earphones Award winner, has also produced several Audie Award-winning audiobooks. His film and television appearances include Two If by Sea, Copland, Sex and the City, Law & Order, Third Watch, and lots and lots of commercials.